There is something ethereal and incredibly elegant about lace shawls. Like nothing else they show off the skill and patience of the knitter. Light as feather, if knitted in alpaca or luxurious cashmere, they are both stunning and add a layer of warmth and comfort. They have been a staple in the knitting tradition of Eastern and Northern Europe, Shetland Islands and many regions of Russia, with pattern repeats and techniques passed from generation to generation.
I have a feeling Santa might be bringing me some lace weight yarn this year so I have been doing some lace pattern research. Somewhere on my knitting wish list I have them all, Shetland, Estonian, Orenburg, Polish and many more regions. I ended up with a long list of books I want to read and lace I want to knit. As it happens – too often, I have to confess, I ended up buying a pattern book, Wrapped in Lace Knitted Heirloom Designs from Around the World by Margaret Stove. The 5 USD discounted price in the Interweave Store was just too irresistible. I can’t wait to get it in the post now – a Christmas gift for myself.
I also found this amazing Knitbuddies.com blog entry on Orenburg lace and Russian lace knitting tradition. It struck a cord with me – my knitting started perhaps not with lace, but with my grandmother patiently repeating the stitches, techniques, adjusting my 4 and 5 year old hands. The blog I read contains the chart of the traditional Orenburg lace repeats – something worth reading and keeping. It is such an amazing tradition worth rediscovering in the West, learning and preserving.
For the moment – I’m sharing with you my picks of the free lace shawl patterns on the web. My favourite is the Bitterroot, knitted in handspun lace in the pattern pictures. Just breathtaking. I also love the Sagittaria Shawl and I’m very tempted by the quick and relatively simple Doolittle Shawl. I hope you enjoy browsing through the patterns and who knows, perhaps you’ll pick a lace shawl to knit?
1. Let it snow by Po Lena (as knitted by Anette on Ravelry)
2. Bella Botanica Shawl by Karen Strauss
3. Snowdrop Shawl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (The Yarn Harlot)
4. Aeolian Lace Shawl by Elisabeth Freeman
5. Begonia Swirl by Carfield Ma
6.Bitterroot Shawl by Rosemary Hill
7. Oceanspray Shawl by Galia Lael
8. Torreyana Shawl by Elisabeth Freema
9. Greek Revival Shawl by Elaine Philips
11. Silvia Estonian Shawl by Silvia Kiri
12. Tree of Light Shawl by Cordula Surmann-Schmitt
13. Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen
14. Regenerate Shawl by Mary-Anne Mace
17. Butterfly Dance by Drops Design
18 Laminaria Shawl by Elisabeth Freeman
19. Sagittaria by Vilma Vuori
20. Indian Feathers by Alina Appasova
Thank you for visiting me. If you enjoyed reading, I would love to hear from you.